The Center for Connected Health, a division of Partners HealthCare has been awarded one of FY 13 research grants from the McKesson Foundation’s Mobilizing for Health Initiative. The grant funding will help develop an interactive mobile health program to improve medication adherence and clinical outcomes in patients with cancer.
“Oral chemotherapy is quickly becoming the treatment of choice due to their ease of administration and potential cost savings. However, patients often do not adhere to treatment because of severe side effects, inadequate supervision in the home setting, and misinformation,” noted Kamal Jethwani, M.D. Corporate Manager for Research and Innovation at the Center for Connected Health and Principal Investigator for this study. “This personalized and targeted mobile-based program aims to help patients to break down barriers to adherence, decrease adverse side effects, and improve their quality of life.”
The Center for Connected Health will conduct a three month randomized controlled trial that will include 104 cancer patients with smartphone apps recruited from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
An algorithm-based program will provide self-care strategies to help patients manage their symptoms. Interactive features will deliver educational messages about the disease process, medications, symptoms, benefits of adherence, strategies to prevent side effects and psychosocial support. A medication-tracking device will be integrated in the mobile-enabled system to provide participants feedback on their symptom control as well as medication adherence.
“By creatively leveraging mobile technology, we can potentially provide intensive interventions currently being delivered by oncology nurses, physicians, and pharmacy-based care management programs,” said Joseph C. Kvedar M.D. Director, Center for Connected Health.
“The McKesson Foundation is focusing on supporting evidence-based research to increase the understanding of the use and effectiveness of mobile-based interventions to improve health outcomes for chronic disease patients”, notes Carrie Varoquiers, President of the McKesson Foundation. “
The other FY 2013 grants from the McKesson Foundation’s Mobilizing for Health Initiative include the Research Institute of Fox Chase Cancer Center, the University of California at Davis, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.